From A Watery Grave: The Discovery And Excavation Of La Salle's Shipwreck, La Belle

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Texas A&M University Press, 2005 - History - 159 pages
On a frigid, stormy day in February of 1686, a small French sailing ship lost control and ran aground in Matagorda Bay. The crew had braved an ocean voyage, attacks by pirates, raids by Native Americans, and ravaging diseases under the command of famed explorer Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, hoping to establish a colony in the New World. Pounded in the Texas bay by gale-force winds and storm surges, La Belle finally slipped beneath the water and sank to the bottom, where it would remain for centuries. More than 300 years later, Texas Historical Commission archaeologists discovered La Belle's resting place. Using cutting-edge technology and scientific innovation, investigators excavated the shipwreck and salvaged from its watery grave more than a million artifacts, including bronze guns, muskets, trade beads, axes, rings, bells, dishes, medicines-everything a New World colony needed for survival. Authors James E. Bruseth and Toni S. Turner use vivid photographs and engaging descriptions to share the excitement of discovery as they piece together both the ship and its tragic story.
 

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From a watery grave: the discovery and excavation of La Salle's shipwreck, La Belle

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Authors Bruseth (archaeology division, Texas Historical Commission) and Turner (La Belle excavation project fund-raiser) present the fascinating story of the 1995 discovery and 1996-97 excavation of ... Read full review

Contents

INTO A WATERY GRAVE
3
LA SALLES GRAND DREAM
16
A MONUMENTAL DISCOVERY
32
EXCAVATION INSIDE A COFFERDAM
47
THE BEAUTIFUL VESSEL
64
CARGO FOR A COLONY
82
SKELETONS IN THE SHIP
115
LA BELLES LEGACY
128
Notes
141
Bibliography
147
Acknowledgments
151
Index
155
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